Should you give a tip or not?

Nov 5, 2015 | About us, Barcelona Guide, Ibiza, Lisbon, London, Milan, Rome

Giving a tip is definitely the most polite thing to do. But how much money do you give and what should you not do? Please note: you don’t have to give a tip if the service is bad, if you’re not welcomed politely or if the food isn’t good. Here is our guide with the best tips on giving a tip!

A tip is in many countries very usual and wished for but nothing is so complicated in giving one. It is after all a voluntary contribution to your token of appreciation. How much do you give then and what is correct?

4 considerations for giving a tip:
1. Please bear in mind that a tip is a gesture to let the employees know that the given service is appreciated. If the service was impressive, then it should be recognized and rewarded.

2. If you are a regular visitor, and come somewhere more often then be more generous. This will make sure of long term progress. You will keep a good service and maybe even get some extras.

3. The decision; whether or not tipping, is the easy part. The real problem lies in the numbers to it. How much tip do you give? Tipping is directly linked to social standards and thus can vary greatly by culture. An inappropriate tip can come as rude or even an insult to someone’s life’s work.

4. Are you in a country where gratuities are being seen as a perk on top of a ‘ normal ‘ income instead of a significant part of the wages? Feel free to go away without leaving a tip If the service was not as it should be.

Giving a tip in the United Kingdom
In restaurants, especially in the high-end establishments is 12.5 percent usually already incorporated in the total account. A tip between 10 and 15 percent is usually common.

In bars, it is up to you to determine. Although tipping is not to be expected in a pub, cocktail bars normally ask 12.5% for table service. For hairdressers is anything between 5 and 10 percent in cash acceptable.

In London goes for taxis that you round of the price or give a 10 percent tip on top of the amount. For hotel staff is a few British pounds acceptable.

Giving a tip in Italy
In contrast to many other European countries, a tip is not seen as something usual in Italy but it is always appreciated. In restaurants, is usually an amount added to the bill for the employees. In addition, they usually charge extra for a basket of bread. Those two are actually already as regular ‘ tip ‘. However, if you are so satisfied and it was so delicious, then a tip between 5 and 10 percent will be welcomed.

It is not required to leave the taxi driver a tip, but rounding off the price is seen as a good and polite way to give a tip. For hotel staff are a few euros acceptable.

Giving a tip in Turkey
Tipping is not a usual part of Turkey’s culture, a modest tip is appreciated.

In restaurants and bars, you will need to leave about 5 to 10 percent of a tip in cash for the waiters and waitresses. Although taxi drivers don’t directly expect a tip, it is widely accepted if you round off the amount in Liras.

For services such as hairdressing, is a 10 percent tip recommended. That also helps in pushing up the quality of the delivered service.

Giving a tip in Portugal
In Portugal is a tip in a restaurant normally seen as a supplement on top of income. Therefore, a gratuity of 10 percent is much appreciated. More expensive restaurants probably expect 15 percent on top of the Bill.

Taxi drivers expect a tip of 10% on top of the normal rate. And in hotels is a few euros for bell boys and girls quite common. And don’t forget to tip the Concierge if you use his services.

Giving a tip in Spain
Giving a tip, or a propina, is not standard in Spain. It is not necessarily expected, but varies by opportunity and establishment. If you are in a formal establishment, people expect a tip much sooner than in normal restaurants. In restaurants the service is sometimes included in the prices but that does not mean that employees will see something of it. That is why it is nice and polite to add another 5 to 10 percent in cash.

Make sure that when you look on the menu, if there is 7%BTW (IVA)  inclusive. If not then you have to add this to the amounts.

Are you in a regular tapas bar or drinking a café con leche, then no tip is expected but it’s nice if you leave a few euros in cash if you are using the service. Giving a tip to taxi drivers is not required, but between 5 and 10 percent is seen as a good amount. The same for hairdressers, especially if you visit a salon frequently. In hotels, is a few euros for the employees more than acceptable.


Don’t give a tip in these countries!
There are countries where giving a tip is absolutely not done. As in Japan, it is seen as an outright insult. That applies to more countries in the far East such as Vietnam and Singapore. In Thailand, on the other hand, is one used to tourists who are tipping and is it now expected to give a tip of about 10 percent. Advice: do your research about the country, ask the tour guide what to do and follow your feelings.

What is your best tip for giving tips? Let us know by Social Media or the comments below!